Ronnie Singer (ca. 1929 - ca. 1953) was a Chicagoan bebop guitarist. He played with great jazz players like saxophonists Charlie Parker, Lee Konitz, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, trumpeter Red Rodney, guitarist Jimmy Gourley, pianist Lou Levy, drummer Al Levitt, etc. He moved to New York in the late forties / early fifties to play with clarinetist and band leader Artie Shaw. Heroin addict, he eventually committed suicide with his wife by asphixia in a gas oven. Here are the sole known jazz recordings of this incredible cat with an unidentified quintet - a great trumpeter (Don Joseph, Don Fagerquist?) and a steady piano-bass-drums rhythm section. Tunes are Vincent Youmans's Tea For Two, James F. Hanley's (Back Home Again In) Indiana and Ford Dabney's Shine. A copy of the tapes belonged to the late great bebop guitarist Jimmy Gourley (from Saint Louis, Missouri), contemporary and friend of Ronnie Singer, who considered him as his greatest influence, ahead Jimmy Raney and Charlie Christian.
Update (23/02/11): The tapes have been lowered by a semitone, they were playing too fast during numerizing. The sound is more confortable, the timbre closer to reality; and the tunes are now in logical keys: Tea For Two in G, Indiana in F and Shine in Eb.
August 17, 2012 Subject:
Ronnie Singer's vital Stats.
Would Joycie, being Ronnie's sister, be able to ascertain/confirm his dates/years/places of birth and death?
December 30, 2010 Subject:
Hello Joycie, I'm the person who posted this and wrote this article. I'm very pleasantly surprised to be contacted about it, by someone so close to him! I thought I would never hear anything more about Ronnie Singer since Jimmy Gourley's passing two years ago. All I'm telling here is what he told me, as my father Dominique Lemerle was Jimmy Gourley's bass player for years and we knew him well. And the trumpet player's identification is the work of Phil Grenadier. I'd like to get in touch with you, I want to know more about this amazing guitar player. I don't even have the tapes anymore, Jimmy had them but he sent them to a producer some years ago, and no news since. This is a bad quality rip a journalist and guitarist friend of mine, Steven Jambot, shared with me. As nothing new surfaced and a lot of people asked me for the tapes, I uploaded them on archive.org so Ronnie Singer's legacy could go on. I'll be glad to get in touch with you, I live in Paris and you can contact me by email. See the "contact" section on my website: http://felix.lemerle.fr/
Hope to hear from you soon,
December 30, 2010 Subject:
I'm Ronnie Singer's sister and would like to be in touch with the person who wrote the review on my brother. Perhaps I could enhance the review, and certainly I'd like to meet the person who cared enough to put this beautiful music into the public arena after so many years.